Today YouTube launched an official music app. With YouTube Music, you’ll get a new experience, designed to make discovering music on YouTube easier. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, considering the popularity of music videos on the site, which boasts access to a potential audience of over 1 billion people around the globe.
That said, there are already a number of apps designed for listening and discovering music on mobile. YouTube’s new app aims to create a lean-back listening experience, make navigating YouTube’s library easier, and simple to switch between video and audio-only play.
When you launch YouTube Music, you get a personalized homepage with some pretty basic genre stations, that takes your personal tastes into account. Remember, you’re probably using YouTube while logged in so they know what you’ve watched and searched for. YouTube Music takes that a step further, learning more about what you like the more you use it.
Clicking on the thumbs up button will toss the song into a saved list for later listening. Go back into your likes, dig deeper, and YouTube will keep on learning what you’re into.
A tap on the trending tab will serve up tracks from emerging artists and classic hits in ‘The Daily 40’. It’s not the typical radio “Top 40” but it’s a human-created list based on learnings of what’s hot on the platform at any given moment. Every song creates an endless station, so as you listen you can look at what’s coming next, and even control the variety of your queue to either be more adventurous or listen to similar songs from the same or similar artist.
No matter where you start in the app, the music will never stop. Every song you play or artist you choose kicks off a journey through YouTube’s music catalog. If you are overwhelmed by options, the home tab will recommend tracks just for you and create personalized stations based on your tastes.
So what’s the catch? Well the paid version of the app, integrated with YouTube Red, lets you play music in the background, get ad-free videos and listen to music offline. YouTube Red also includes audio mode, which lets you play audio-only without loading the videos. Audio-only mode is great for radio, because if you put your phone in your pocket, YouTube Music will keep on going and going. When you unlock your device, you’ll see the video that’s playing wherever the particular track happens to be at the given time. It also keeps your battery and data usage low.
But with the free version of YouTube Music, ads are enabled, you lose portability and there’s no playing music in the background, checking texts or accessibility to mixtapes offline. So basically, most of the functionality that makes this app your go-to for Music is only available in the paid subscription version.
At the end of the day, you’re probably already watching or listening to music on YouTube and the YouTube Music app makes that experience way more enjoyable. It’s definitely worth a try. You can download YouTube Music for free starting today on Google Play or the App Store, which includes a two-week trial of YouTube’s premium Red service, which you are sure to miss when the trial ends.